Launching CollabTalk

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One of my goals for 2015 is to spend less time on the road, and more time generating content to help the SharePoint community transition to the cloud. Of course, I’ve been telling myself and others that I’d like to do less travel for a couple years now, and somehow it hasn’t quite worked out. But with the move to GTconsult and the opening of our office in downtown Bellevue WA, it’s been a slow but steady switch from globe-trotting evangelist to a P&L owner with more of a regional focus. You’ll still see me out and about on occasion, with trips to APAC and EMEA, and of course across the US. But my intent is to really amplify my online activities through video and content.

Of course, one of my more successful online exploits has been my monthly tweetjams. Started while at Axceler two years back, and maintained through the 13 months with Metalogix, it continues to grow and gets great feedback from community members and customers alike. And no matter what happens next, folks, the tweetjams will continue! In fact, I am finalizing our next tweetjam topic and questions for Friday, January 30th at 9am PST, and will push out details and panelist details later this week. So….going forward, when you hear/see me talking about CollabTalk, its about the online show. When I talk about the CollabTalk tweetjam, you’ll know it’s the Twitter activity (although we may be moving from Twubs.com/CollabTalk over to IT Unity there, as well).

Whenever I do make it out on the road, as with this past weekend when I keynoted SharePoint Saturday Denver, one of my favorite activities is to just sit with my fellow presenters and banter. What’s fun about this is that we get into the technology, sharing war stories and best practices, but in a much more laid back manner. Last fall as I was starting to think about my content goals for end of year and into 2015, and started to think about how I could capture this informal conversational style while still providing value to the community. That’s when I thought to extend the CollabTalk brand – not as a tweetjam replacement, but as an informal (and often funny) conversation between friends around topics that interest us, and those within the SharePoint and Office 365 community.

I shared some of my ideas with Jackie Baillie and Dan Holme at ITUnity.com and they were instantly onboard, offering their platform and support to make it all happen. And so here we are a few weeks later, on the eve of the launch of our new #CollabTalk show, with episode/webisode 1 commencing at 10am PST. If you would like to join our live audience, you can register at http://itunity.com/go/CollabTalk

In case you haven’t seen it, the IT Unity team put together a fun video montage as a promo:

Some aspects of the show will evolve over time. We have a format we’ll be following that will allow us to break up each episode into shorter videos around each topic, which will be great for SEO, as well as for sponsorships. One area where we’re already discussing changes is in ways that we can get the audience to participate. Of course, questions will be monitored within the platform (Adobe Connect), through Yammer on the SPYam network, and using the #CollabTalk hashtag on Twitter. But your feedback is always welcome, so please let us know how we can improve the format – and what topics you would like to hear us discuss.

I’d like to thank the IT Unity team — Dan, Jackie, Lyman, Erik, Heather, Karen, and the rest of the team — for all of their help and support to make this program happen, and am excited to get things underway. And, of course, thank you to Benjamin, Marc and Naomi for agreeing to be a part of this. It’s going to be fun.

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and Office Apps & Services MVP, and the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC, an independent research and technical marketing services firm based in Lehi, Utah, through which he provides fractional-CMO for partners in the Microsoft ecosystem.